Nurses' and physicians' views about euthanasia.


Clinical excellence for nurse practitioners : the international journal of NPACE, vol.5, no.4, pp.222-231, 2001 (Scopus) identifier identifier


Nurses' and physicians' views about euthanasia were investigated using a questionnaire that was answered by 113 nurses and 83 physicians in the internal medicine and surgery inpatient services of Hacettepe University Adult Hospital, Ankara, Turkey. The data were evaluated with Chi-square statistical test and percentages. The study results showed that both nurses and physicians define euthanasia as "a person's right to die." Nurses responded that euthanasia may be appropriate with terminally ill elderly patients; however, physicians responded that it may be appropriate with patients at any age who are in the last stage of a terminal illness. Although both groups accepted euthanasia conditionally, they stressed that, in practice, the primary responsibility should be with patients and their relatives. When faced with a patient who wishes a painless death, nurses said that they feel helpless, anxious and guilty, and find themselves in a dilemma. However, physicians responded that they feel satisfied that they are doing the right thing in continuing the patient's medical therapy.